What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media-THE CLIFF NOTES

What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media-


First, I want to thank Chris Lehmann and Scott McLeod. They are two wonderful leaders in changing the momentum when it comes to school leaders and their learning. There book, "What School Leaders Need to Know about Digital Technologies and Social Media" is a great effort to crowd source all of the areas of learning that school leaders need to be introduced to in order to be effective in preparing unique, creative students for the future. I truly believe that it should be required reading for every Missouri principal attending the spring conference in March.

I've worked hard to stay informed about a lot of the topics in the book, so I needed to dig a bit harder to leave with new tools and knowledge from this text. The remainder of this post is my effort to synthesize this book into digestible chunks for those looking for new tools and ideas for this schools.


"Today's information landscape requires a wide and exciting range of skills involved in exposing the value of the information we encounter, employing the information by working the numbers that define it, expressing ideas compellingly to produce messages that compete for attention, and habitually considering the ethical implications of our use of information."

Chapter 1- Blogs...

"One of the great educational benefits of the read/write web, and blogging particularly, is the opportunity for the student to become a 'teacher' by presenting material to an audience. When we teach, we learn."

As schools try to truly think about their acceptable use policies, they should begin with learning in mind, not policing the Internet.

Bud the Teacher provides sample AUPs

David Warlick's AUP options.

Chapter 2- Wikis...

Incredible example of how wikis create the space for great learning, The Flat Classroom Project.

Chapter 3- Podcasts and Webinars...

"Podcasts and webinars offer opportunities for educators to shift the time and place of their learning, listening to, and reflecting on ideas to the schedule and location most convenient for them."

Ongoing professional development at K12 Online Conference

Incredible content at the iTunes U Channel

MIT Open Courseware provides great courses for staff, students, and parents.

Incredible podcasts for teachers and leaders at EdTechTalk

The Education Podcast Network has great example for teachers looking to have kids learn through podcasts.

Chapter 4- RSS and RSS Readers...

"We must be able to manage, analyze, synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information."

Great way to search for blogs on the Internet, http://www.google.com/blogsearch

Great tip: Want to track every time something is mentioned on the internet. Do a Google News Search and then subscribe to the results page in your RSS reader.

Another tip: Want to get a specific twitter feed into your RSS reader. Go to Twitter searchpage, enter the hashtag, and subscribe to the results.

"Although there are tremendous ideas within your local learning community, there is a larger discussion about these same ideas worldwide. Your teachers can participate in the global PLC, often called a personal learning network (PLN)."

Chapter 5- Digital Video...

"Video production allows teachers an opportunity to teach media literacy. "

"Teachers must model all parts of the moviemaking process, beginning with brainstorming filmable ideas and continuing with how to storyboard and write in script format."

Images and Music here at flickschool.com

"What do we want to show an audience to tell our story?"

Chapter 6- Virtual School...

Chapter 7- One to One Computer...

"What is the worst consequence of our best ideas?"

"The challenge then become to reimage the classroom to make it the place where students and teachers come together face-to-face to create share knowledge."

Chapter 8- Free and Open Source Software...

Chapter 9- Educational Gaming...

There are some incredible virtual science opportunities here from BYU

Chapter 10- Social Bookmarking...

Really good social bookmarking options. Evernote and

Chapter 11- Online Mind Mapping...

Mind Mapping Options with Mind42

Some see mindmapping as "mapping that is creating learning containers"

Opportunities to share on mind maps. Wallwisher.

Chapter 12- Course Management Systems....

Interlude- See Sally Research: Evolving Notions of Information Literacy

"Transliteracy, the ability to read, write, and interact across a range of platforms, tools, and media."

The Evolution of Information Literacy

-For Digital citizens, attribution is still the right thing to do.

-Intellectual property issues require more sophisticated discussion, as Creative Commons becomes an alternative to copyright and as learners themselves remix media.

-The read and write web has created a genuine audience for students work.

Chapter 13- Online Tool Suites....

"With some clever set-up, Google Calendar can even be used to send updates to community members at a public website, via e-mail, and through Twitter or Facebook."

"The killer application, though, for educational leaders, may be the Forms feature."

Chapter 14- Twitter...

100 Inspiring Ways to Use Social Media in the Classroom

"Twitter affords educators the opportunity to create a personal learning network."

"The benefits of these networks can be enormous as educators are able to assemble a collection of literally, "the best and brightest" practitioners from around the world, individuals with whom the average teacher usually would never have the chance to interact with or learn from."

Chapter 15- Online Images and Visual Literacy...

This can be accomplished in part by providing teachers and students opportunities to explore media that supports Creative Commons

"Such skills include reading pictures as you would read words in a story and developing meaning from those images by themselves, together in a sequence, or hyperlinked throughout a network."

"Another critical aspect of decoding images is analysis of the information found in advertisements as well as visual representations such as charts, maps, and charts."

Chapter 16- Mobile Phones and Mobile Learning...

“Today’s mobile phones are no longer just talking and texting devices, but sleek digital Swiss army knives.”

“Following are three issues that should be addressed as part of a mobile safety lesson: digital footprints,;public record; and sexting, bullying, and other inappropriate uses.”

Monitoring software for phones. www.mobile-spy.com

Students can use a website such as GPS Mission www.gpsmission.com for outdoor learning or to become familiar with a new environment.

Students can use www.mapmyrun.com in physical education to keep track of their time and distance for bikes, hikes, and runs.

Instant response systems at: www.polleverywhere.com and www.socrative.com

Older students can write their own text messaging novels www.textnovel.com

Ignacio Estrada: “If children don’t learn the way we teacher, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”

Chapter 17- Social Networking…

Example of School District online http://edubuzz.org

“In today’s socially networked world, not only do principals and leaders need to be aware of what the physical image of their school portrays but also what is portrayed by the digital image of their school- and people’s reactions to it.”

“There is no one single place that a school can be; it must exist in many spaces simultaneously.”


“What do we learn about computing and critical thinking by knowing how to create a Powerpoint presentation? The answer is nothing. It certainly doesn’t teach you how to think critically.”